Sermon 1803. Jehovah-Jireh
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, OCTOBER 12, 1884,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall beseen." Genesis 22:14.
"ABRAHAM called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh," or, "Jehovah will see it," or, "Jehovah will provide," or, "Jehovahwill be seen." We are offered a variety of interpretations, but the exact idea is that of seeing and being seen. For God tosee is to provide. Our own word, "provide," is only Latin for, "to see." You know how we say that we will see to a matter.Possibly this expression hits the nail on the head. Our heavenly Father sees our needs and, with Divine foresight of love,prepares the supply. He sees to a need to supply it-and in the seeing He is seen-in the providing He manifests Himself!
I believe that the Truth of God contained in the expression, "Jehovah-jireh," was ruling Abraham's thoughts long before heuttered it and appointed it to be the memorial name of the place where the Lord had provided a substitute for Isaac. It wasthis thought, I think, which enabled him to act as promptly as he did under the trying circumstances. His reason whisperedwithin him, "If you slay your son, how can God keep His promise to you that your seed shall be as many as the stars of Heaven?"He answered that suggestion by saying to himself, "Jehovah will see to it!" As he went upon that painful journey with hisdearly beloved son at his side, the suggestion may have come to him, "How will you meet Sarah when you return home, havingcovered your hands in the blood of her son? How will you meet your neighbors when they hear that Abraham, who professed tobe such a holy man, has killed his son?" That answer still sustained his heart-"Jehovah will see to it! Jehovah will see toit! He will not fail in His word. Perhaps He will raise my son from the dead, but in some way or other He will justify myobedience to Him and vindicate His own command. Jehovah will see to it." This was a quietus to every mistrustful thought.
I pray that we may drink into this Truth of God and be refreshed by it. If we follow the Lord's bidding, He will see to itthat we shall not be ashamed or confused. If we come into great need by following His command, He will see to it that theloss shall be recompensed. If our difficulties multiply and increase so that our way seems completely blocked up, Jehovahwill see to it that the road shall be cleared. The Lord will see us through in the way of holiness if we are only willingto be thorough in it and dare to follow where ever He leads. We need not wonder that Abraham should utter this truth and attachit to the spot which was to be forever famous, for his whole heart was saturated with it and had been sustained by it. Wiselyhe makes an altar and a mountain to be memorials of the Truth which had so greatly helped him. His trials had taught him moreof God-had, in fact, given him a new name for his God-and this he would not have forgotten, but he would keep it before theminds of the generations following by naming the place Jehovah-jireh.
Observe, as you read this chapter, that this was not the first time that Abraham had thus spoken. When he called the nameof the place Jehovah-jireh he had seen it to be true-the ram caught in the thicket had been provided as a substitute for Isaac.Jehovah had provided. But he had, before, declared that Truth of God when, as yet, he knew nothing of the Divine action-whenhe could not even guess how his extraordinary trial would end! His son Isaac had said to him, "Behold the fire and the wood,but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" And the afflicted father had bravely answered, "My son, God will provide." Indue time God did provide and then Abraham honored Him by saying the same words. But instead of the ordinary name for God,he used the special Covenant title-Jehovah. That is the only alteration- otherwise, in the same terms he repeats the assurancethat, "the Lord will provide."
That first utterance was most remarkable! It was simple enough, but how prophetic! It teaches us this Truth, that the confidentspeech of a Believer is akin to the language of a Prophet. The man who accepts the promise of God unstagger-ingly and is surethat it is true, will speak like the Seers of old! He will see that God sees and will declare the fact-and the holy inferencewhich comes of it. The Believer's child-like assurance will anticipate the future and his plain state-ment-"God will provide"-willturn out to be literal truth! If you want to come near to prophesying, hold hard to the promises of God and you shall "prophecyaccording to the measure of faith." He that can say, "I know and am sure that God will not fail me in this, my hour of tribulation,"will, before long, drop pearls of Divine confidence and diamonds of prediction from his lips. Choice sayings which becomeproverbs in the Church of God are not the offspring of mistrust, but of firm confidence in the living God!
To this day, many a saying of a man of God is quoted among us, even as Abraham's words were quoted. Moses puts it, "As itis said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." And we might mention many a sentence which is said unto thisday which first fell from the mouth of a faithful spirit in the hour of the manifestation of the Lord. The speech of the fatherof the faithful became the speech of his spiritual seed for many a year afterwards and it abides in the family of faith untothis day! If we have full faith in God, we shall teach succeeding generations to expect Jehovah's hand to be stretched out.
True faith not only speaks the language of prophecy, but, when she sees her prophecy fulfilled, faith is always delightedto raise memorials to the God of Truth. The stones which were set up of old were not to the memory of dead men, but they werememorials of the deeds of the living God-they abundantly uttered the memory of God's great goodness! Abraham, on this occasion,did not choose a name which recorded what he had done, but a name which spoke of what Jehovah had done. It is true Abraham'sfaith was worthy to be remembered throughout all generations, for there he believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness-andthe Lord said to him, "And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice."
There the Patriarch had endured the extreme test-no gold was ever passed through a hotter furnace. But true faith is alwaysmodest. From her gate, boasting is excluded by law. Abraham says nothing about himself at all, but the praise is unto Godwho sees and is seen. The record is, "Jehovah will provide." I like that self-ignoring. I pray that we, also, may have somuch strength of faith that self may go to the wall. Little faith is very apt to grow proud when, to its own astonishment,it has worked righteousness. But strong faith so completely empties itself and so entirely depends upon the all-sufficiencyof God, that when anything is achieved, it remembers nothing but the Divine hand and lays the crown where it ought to be laid.Growing in experimental acquaintance with the God of the Covenant, faith has a new song and a new name for her God and takescare that His wonderful works shall be remembered.
Note yet further, that when faith has uttered a prophecy and has set up her memorial, the record of mercy received becomes,itself, a new prophecy. Abraham says, "Jehovah-jireh-God will see to it." What was he doing, then, but prophesying a secondtime for future ages? He bids us know that as God had provided for him in the time of his extremity, so He will provide forall them that put their trust in Him! The God of Abraham lives! Let His name be praised and let us rest assured that as certainlyas in the Patriarch's distress, when there seemed no way of escape, the Lord appeared for him and was seen in the mountain,even so shall it be with all the believing seed while time endures! We shall all be tried and tested, but in our utmost needGod will see us and see to our deliverance, if we will but let faith have her perfect work and will hope and quietly waitthe moment when the Lord shall be seen working salvation. The Lord is the Preserver of men and the Provider for men. I longfor all of us to get this Truth of God firmly fixed in our hearts and, therefore, I shall try to show that God's provisionfor Abraham and Isaac typified the far greater provision by which all the faithful are delivered from death. And that God,in providing in the mountain, has given us, therein, a sure guarantee that all our necessities shall be provided for henceforth,even forever!
Consider, then, that the provision which God made for Abraham was symbolic of the greater provision which He has made forall His chosen in Christ Jesus. "Jehovah-jireh" is a text from which to preach concerning Providence and many have been thesermons which have been distilled from it. But I take the liberty of saying that Providence, in the ordinary sense of theterm, is not the first thought of the passage which should be read with some sort of reference to its connec-tion-and themore so because that connection is exceedingly remarkable.
I. When Abraham said, "Jehovah will provide," he meant for us, first of all, to learn that THE PROVISION WILL COME IN THETIME OF OUR EXTREMITY. The provision of the ram, instead of Isaac, was the significant type which was before Abraham's mind.And our Lord tells us, "Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad." And, surely, if ever Abraham saw theday of Christ and was glad beyond measure, it was at that moment when he beheld the Lord providing a substitute for Isaac!At any rate, whether Abraham understood the full meaning of what he said, or not, he spoke not for himself, but for us. Everyword he uttered is for our teaching-and the teaching is this-that God, in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, made the fullestprovision for our greatest needs. And from that we may infer that whatever need shall ever occur to us, God will certainlyprovide for it, but He may delay the actual manifestation of it until our darkest hour has come-
"Just in the last distressing hour The Lord displays delivering power. The moment of danger is the place Where we shall seesurprising Grace."
The Lord gave our Lord Jesus Christ to be the Substitute for men in view of the utmost need of our race. Isaac was hard pressedwhen God interfered on his behalf. The knife was lifted up by a resolute hand. Isaac was within a second of death when theangelic voice said, "Lay not your hand upon the lad." God provided instantly when the need pressed urgently. Beloved, wasIsaac nearer to death than sinful man was near to Hell? Was that knife closer to the throat of the beloved Isaac than theaxe of the executioner was near to the neck of every sinner-yes, to the neck of the whole race of man? We have so sinned andgone astray that it was not possible for God to wink at our transgressions! He must visit our iniquities with the just punishmentwhich is nothing less than eternal death!
I constantly meet with persons under the convincing power of the Spirit of God and I always find that in their apprehension,the punishment of sin is something terrible and overwhelming. When God deals with men by His convincing Spirit, they feelthat their sin deserves nothing less than the wrath of God in Hell! So it was with our race-we had altogether destroyed ourselvesand were shut up under condemnation by the Law of God-and it was in that dread hour that God interposed and proclaimed a Saviorfor men! "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." I would to God we all felt what a dreadful thing it is to be lost,for then we would value the provision of the Savior much more than we do now! Oh, Sirs, if no Redeemer had been provided,we might have gathered here, this morning, and if you could have had patience to hear me, all I would have been able to saywould have been, "Brothers and Sisters, let us weep together and sigh in chorus, for we shall all die and, dying, we shallsink into the bottomless pit and shall abide forever under the righteous anger of God."
It would have been so with us all if a Substitute had not been found! If the gift of the loving Father had not been bestowed!If Jesus had not condescended to die in our place, we would have been left for execution by that Law of God which will byno means spare the guilty! We talk about our salvation as if it were nothing very particular! We have heard of the plan ofSubstitution so often that it becomes commonplace! It should not be so-I believe that it still thrills the angels with astonishmentthat man, when he had fallen from his high estate and had been banished from Eden and had become a rebel against God-shouldbe redeemed by the blood of the Heir of all things, by whom the Divine Father made the worlds! When death and Hell openedtheir jaws to devour, then was this miracle completed and Jesus taken among the thorns was offered up a Sacrifice for us!
God not only interposed when the death of Isaac was imminent, but also when the anguish of Abraham had reached its highestpitch. The Patriarch's faith never wavered, but we must not forget that he was a man like ourselves-and no father could seehis child offered up without an inward agony which surpasses all description. The anguish of so perfect a man as Abraham-aman who intensely felt all the domestic affections as every truly godly father must feel them and who loved his son as muchas he loved his own life-must have been unspeakably great. What must have been the force of faith which enabled the man ofGod to master himself, to go contrary to the current of human nature and deliberately to stand ready to sacrifice his Isaac?He must have been wound up to a fearful pitch of anguish when he lifted the knife to slay his son-but just then the angelstopped his hand-and God provided the ram as the substitute in the moment of his utmost misery.
Surely the world had come to a great state of misery when, at last, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, that He mightbecome the Sacrifice for sin. At any rate, this I know, that as a rule, men do not see Christ to be their Substitute
nor accept Him as their Redeemer till they feel that they lie at Hell's door-and until their anguish on account of sin hasbecome exceedingly great. I remember well when I first beheld the Lamb of God who suffered in my place. I had often heardthe story of His death. I could have told it out to others very correctly, but then I did not know my own pressing need-Ihad not come to feel the knife at my throat, nor was I about to die and, therefore, my knowledge was a cold, inoperative thing.
But when the Law had bound me and given me over to death-and when my heart within me was crushed with fear-then the sightof the glorious Substitute was as bright to me as a vision of Heaven! Did Jesus suffer in my stead outside the gate? Weremy transgressions laid on Him? Then I received Him with unspeakable joy-with my whole nature accepting the good news! At thismoment I accept the Lord Jesus as my Substitute with a deep, peaceful delight. Blessed be the name of Jehovah-jireh for havingthought of me-a beggar, a wretch, a condemned criminal-and for having provided the Lamb of God whose precious blood was shedinstead of mine!
II. Secondly, upon the mountain THE PROVISION WAS SPONTANEOUSLY MADE for Abraham-and so was
the provision which the Lord displayed in the fullness of time when He gave up His Son to die. The ram caught in the thicketwas a provision which, on Abraham's part, was quite unsought. He did not fall down and pray, "O Lord, in Your tenderness provideanother victim instead of my son, Isaac." Probably it never entered his mind. But God spontaneously, from the free Grace ofHis own heart, put the ram where Abraham found it. You and I did not pray for Christ to die. He died for us before we wereborn and if He had not done so, it would never have entered into our mind to ask for so great a
Until the Lord sought us, we did not even seek to be saved by Christ, of the fact of whose death we had been made aware. Oh,no, it is not in man, by nature, to seek a Savior-it is in God to give a Savior-and then the Spirit of God sweetly inclinesthe heart to seek Him, but this seeking comes not of man. "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died forthe ungodly." It is ours to sin, it is God's to save. "We have turned, every one, to his own way, and the Lord has laid onHim the iniquity of us all." Ours is the wandering, but the laying of those wanderings upon Jesus is of the Lord, alone-weneither bought it, nor sought it, nor thought it.
In Abraham's case, I believe it was an unexpected thing. He did not reckon upon any substitute for his son. He judged thathe would have to die and viewed him as already dead. As for ourselves, if God had not revealed the plan of salvation by thesubstitution of His only-begotten Son, we would never have dreamed of it. Remember that the Son of God is One with the Fatherand if the Holy Spirit had not revealed the fact that the offended God would, Himself, bear the penalty due for the offense,it would never have occurred to the human mind! The brightest of the spirits before God's Throne would never have devisedthe plan of salvation by the sacrifice of Jesus! It was unexpected. Let us bless the Lord, who has done for us exceedinglyabove what we asked or even thought in giving us redemption through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I may say of Christ what I could not have said of Abraham's ram, that not only was He unsought for by us and unexpected, butnow that He is given, He is still not perfectly comprehended-
"Much we talk of Jesus' blood, But how little's understood! Of His suffering's, so intense, Angels ha ve no perfect sense."
I am often ready to beat upon my own breast as I study the wondrous mystery of atoning love, for it seems to me so mean athing to be so little affected by such boundless Grace! If we fully felt what God has done for us in the great deed of Jesus'death, it might not be amazing if we were to die under the amazing discovery! "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, itis high, I cannot attain unto it." The immortal God undertakes to bear death for man! The Incarnate stands in the sinner'splace! The well-pleasing Son is made accursed for those who otherwise had been accursed forever! He who was above all shameand sorrow laid aside His Glory and became the "Man of Sorrows," "despised and rejected of men"! "Though He was rich, yetfor your sakes He became poor."
It is more extraordinary than romance! Poets may sing their loftiest stanzas, but they shall never reach the height of thisgreat argument. "Paradise Lost," a Milton may compose and fascinate a world with his majestic lines, but Paradise Restoredby the Divine Substitution is not to be fully sung by mortal minds! Only God knows the love of God! All the harps of redeemedmen and all the hymns of adoring angels can never set forth the splendor of the love of Jehovah in pro-
viding for our need, providing for our salvation, providing His only-begotten Son and providing Him of His own free love-unsoughtand undesired of men.
III. But, thirdly, we ought to dwell very long and earnestly upon the fact that for man's need THE PROVISION WAS MADE BY GODHIMSELF. The text says, "Jehovah-jireh," the Lord will see to it. The Lord will provide. No one else could have provided aransom! Neither on earth nor in Heaven was there found any helper for lost humanity. What sacrifice could be presented toGod if a sacrifice could be accepted? Behold Lebanon, as it rises majestically toward Heaven, white with its snows! See theforests which adorn its sides! Set these all on fire and see them blaze as the wood of the altar of God. Yet, "Lebanon isnot sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering." Take the myriads of cattle that roam thehills and shed their blood till you have made a sea of gore, but what of that? "It is not possible that the blood of bullsand of goats should take away sins."
Men may, themselves, die, but in death each man who dies only pays his own debt to Nature-there is nothing left for another."None can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him." Where shall a redemption be found by which itshall be possible that the multitude of the elect shall be effectually redeemed from death and Hell? Such a ransom could onlybe found by God! And He could only find it in Himself-in Him who was One with Himself- who lay in the bosom of the Fatherfrom old eternity. The provision was made by God Himself, since no other could provide. God alone could say, "Deliver himfrom going down to the pit: I have found a Ransom."
But was it not singular that the Lord Jehovah should provide it? When a law has been broken and its honor has to be retrieved,it would not be judged likely that the aggrieved party should make the sacrifice! That God, against whom all the blasphemyand sin and wickedness of a ribald world was aimed-shall He Himself make expiation? Shall the judge bear the penalty due tothe criminal? "Lay it on the sinner; for it is his due"-so Justice cries aloud-"Lay the penalty on the transgressor!" Butif a substitute can be permitted, where can one be found able and willing to become surety for the guilty? He is found uponthe Throne of God! He is found in the Majesty that is offended!
Brothers and Sisters, I am beaten down by my subject! Forgive me that I cannot speak of it as I would desire. There is noroom, here, for words-it is a matter for silent thought. We need the fact of Substitution to strike us and then the Crosswill grow sublimely great. In vision I behold it! Its two arms are extended right and left till they touch the east and westand overshadow all races of men! The foot of it descends lower than the grave, till it goes down, even, to the gates of Hell-whileupward the Cross mounts with a halo round about it of unutterable Glory-till it rises above the stars and sheds its lightupon the Throne of the Most High! Atonement is a Divine business! Its sacrifice is infinite, even as the God who conceivedit! Glory be to His name forever! It is all that I can say. It was nothing less than a stretch of Divine Love for Jesus togive Himself for our sins. It was gracious for the Infinite to conceive of such a thing, but for Him to carry it out was gloriousbeyond all comprehension! What shall I say of it?
I will only interject this thought here-let none of us ever interfere with the provision of God. If in our dire distress He,alone, was our Jehovah-jireh and provided us a Substitute, let us not think that there is anything left for us to provide!O Sinner, do you cry, "Lord, I must have a broken heart"? He will provide it for you! Do you cry, "Lord, I cannot master sin,I have not the power to conquer my passions"? He will provide strength for you! Do you mourn, "Lord, I shall never hold onand hold out to the end. I am so fickle"? Then He will provide perseverance for you! Do you think that after having givenHis own dear Son to purchase you, He will let that work fail because you cannot provide some little odds and ends to completethe work? Oh, dream not so! Dote not on such a folly! Whatever you need, poor Sinner, if you believe in Christ, the Lord'sprovision of a Savior in Christ warrants your believing that God will provide it!
Salvation begins with Jehovah-jireh, the Cross and the bleeding Savior. Do you think it will ever drivel down into your providingthis and that? Oh, your pride! Your insane pride! You are to do something, are you? What? Yoke your little something withthe Eternal God? Did you ever hear of an angel failing to perform a duty until he was assisted by an ant? Have you ever heardof God's great laws of Nature breaking down till some child's finger could supplement their force? You to help your God toprovide? Get out of the way and be nothing-then shall God come in and be everything!
Sink! It is the Lord that must rise! He shall be seen in the mountain-not you! Hide yourself and let the Glory of the Lordbe manifested in you. I wish that every troubled one here could catch this idea and hold it fast. Whatever you need to putaway your sin. Whatever you need to make you a new creature. Whatever you need to carry you to Heaven, Jeho-
vah-jireh, the Lord, will provide! He will see to it! Trust in Him and before long you shall see the Divine provision andJehovah shall be glorious in yours eyes!
IV. But I must pass on. That which God prepares for poor sinners is A PROVISION MOST GLORIOUSLY MADE. God provided a ram insteadof Isaac. This was sufficient for the occasion as a type, but that which was typified by the ram is infinitely more glorious!In order to save us, God provided God. I cannot put it more simply. He did not provide an angel, nor a mere man, but God Himself!Come, Sinner, with all your load of sin-God can bear it! The shoulders that bear up the universe can well sustain your loadof guilt. God gave you His Godhead to be your Savior when He gave you His Son.
But He also gave, in the Person of Christ, perfect Manhood-such a Man as never lived before-eclipsing, even, the perfectionof the first Adam in the garden by the majestic innocence of His Nature. When Jesus has been viewed as Man, even unconvertedmen have so admired His excellence that they have almost adored Him! Jesus is God and Man, and the Father has given that Man-thatGod-to be your Redeemer! For your redemption the Lord God has given you the death of Christ; and what a death it was! I wouldthat troubled hearts would more often study the story of the Great Sacrifice, the agony and bloody sweat, the betrayal inthe garden, the binding of the hands, the accusation of the Innocent, the scourging, the crown of thorns, the spitting inthe face, the mockery, the nailing to the tree, the lifting up of the Cross, the burning fever, the parching thirst and, aboveall, the overpowering anguish of being forsaken by His God!
Do you think, O Soul, that to save you, the Son of God must cry, "Lama Sabachthani!"? Do you think that to save you, He musthang naked to His shame between Heaven and earth, rejected of both-must cry, "I thirst"-and receive nothing but vinegar withwhich to moisten His burning lips? Jesus must "pour out His soul unto death" that we might live! He must be "numbered withthe transgressors" that we might be numbered with His saints in everlasting Glory! Was not this a glorious provision? Whatgreater gift could be bestowed than One in whom God and man are blended in one?
When Abraham on the mountain offered a sacrifice it was called a "burnt offering." But when the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvarydied it was not only a burnt offering, but a sin offering, a meat offering and a peace offering-and every other kind of sacrificein one! Under the oldest of all dispensations, before the Mosaic economy, God had not taught men the distinctions of sacrifice-butan offering unto the Lord meant all that was afterwards set forth by many types. When the venerable Patriarch offered a sacrifice,it was an offering for sin and a sweet smelling savor besides. So was it with our Lord Jesus Christ. When He died, He madeHis soul an offering for sin and, "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." When He died, He also offered unto God a burntoffering, for we read, "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrificeto God for a sweet smelling savor."
When Jesus died, He gave us a peace offering, for we come to feast upon Him with God and, to us, "His flesh is meat, indeed;His blood is drink, indeed." One would need many a day in which to expatiate upon the infinite virtues and excellencies ofChrist, in whom all perfections are sweetly hived. Blessed be His name, God has most gloriously provided for us in the dayof our need! Jehovah-jireh!
V. Fifthly, THE PROVISION WAS MADE EFFECTIVELY. Isaac did not die-the laughter in Abraham's house was not stifled. There wasno grief for the Patriarch-he went home with his son in happy companionship because Jehovah had provided Himself a lamb fora burnt offering. The ram which was provided did not bleed in vain-Isaac did not die as well as the ram-Abraham did not haveto slay the God-provided victim and his own son, also. No, the one sacrifice sufficed. Beloved, this is my comfort in thedeath of Christ-I hope it is yours-that He did not die in vain! I have heard of a theology which, in its attempt to extolthe efficacy of Christ's death, virtually deprives it of any certain efficiency. The result of the Atonement is made to dependentirely upon the will of man and so is left haphazard. Our Lord, according to certain teachers, might or might not see ofthe travail of His soul.
I confess that I do not believe in this random redemption and I wonder that any person can derive comfort from such teaching.I believe that the Son of God could not possibly have come into the world in the circumstances in which He did-and could nothave died as He did-and yet be defeated and disappointed! He died for those who believe in Him and these shall live! Yes,they do live in Him. I should think that Isaac, the child of laughter, was solemnly joyous as he descended the hill and wenthome with his father. I think both of them tripped along with happy steps towards Sarah's
house and their own loved home! And you and I, this day, may go home with the same joyousness! We shall not die, for the Lambof God has died for us!
We shall never perish, for He has suffered in our place! We were bound on the altar-we were laid on the firewood and the firewas ready for our consuming-but no knife shall touch us, now, for the Sacrifice is offered once and for all. No fire shallconsume us, for He who suffered in our stead has borne the heat of the flame on our behalf! We live and we shall live. "Thereis therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." This is an effectual and precious providing! I do notbelieve in a redemption which did not redeem, nor in an atonement which did not atone! But I do believe in Him who died invain for none, but will effectually save His own Church and His own sheep for whom He laid down His life! To Him we will allrender praise, for He was slain and He has redeemed us unto God by His blood out of every kindred and people and nation!
VI. Turn we then, sixthly, to this note, that we may well glorify Jehovah-jireh because THIS PROVISION WAS MADE FOR EVERYBELIEVER. The provision on the Mount of Moriah was made on behalf of Abraham-he was, himself, a man of faith, and he is styledthe "father of the faithful." And now every faithful or believing one may stand where Abraham stood and say, "Jehovah-jireh,the Lord will provide." Remember, however, that our faith must be of the same nature as that of Abraham or it will not becounted to us for righteousness. Abraham's faith worked by love-it so worked in him that he was willing to do all that theLord bade him-even to sacrifice of his own dear son! You must possess a living, working, self-sacrificing faith if you wouldbe saved.
If you have it, you may be as sure that you are saved as you are sure that you have sinned. "He that believes on Him is notcondemned," because Christ was condemned for him. "He that believes on Him has everlasting life"-he cannot die, for Christdied for him. The great principle upon which our security is based is the righteousness of God which assures us that He willnot punish the Substitute and then punish the person for whom the Substitute endured the penalty! It were a matter of grossinjustice if the sinner, having made atonement for his sin in the Person of his Covenant Head, the Lord Jesus, should afterwardsbe called upon to account for the very sin for which Jesus atoned! Sin, like anything else, cannot be in two places at once-ifthe great God took my sin and laid it on His Son-then it is not on me any more! If Jesus bore the wrath of God for me, I cannotbear that wrath-it were contrary to every principle of a just, moral government, that a judge should cast our surety intoprison and exact the penalty from him and then come upon those for whom the suretyship was undertaken.
By this Gospel I am prepared to stand or fall! Yes, by it I will live or die-I know no other! Because I believe it, I thisday cry from the bottom of my heart, "Jehovah-jireh," the Lord has provided an effectual redemption for all those who puttheir trust in Him whom God has set forth to be a Propitiation. It is true, as it is written, "He that believes and is baptizedshall be saved." It is true that the faith which works by love brings justification to the soul!
VII. But now I close with a remark which will reveal the far-reaching character of my text. "Jehovah-jireh" is true concerningall necessary things. The instance given of Abraham being provided for shows us that the Lord will always be a Provider forHis people. As to the gift of the Lord Jesus, this is A PROVISION WHICH GUARANTEES ALL OTHER PROVISION. "He that spared notHis own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Abraham learned that,for, as soon as he had slaughtered the ram, the Covenant was repeated in his ears and repeated as he had never heard it before-accompaniedwith an oath! God cannot swear by any greater than Himself, and so He said, "By Myself have I sworn." Thus was the Covenantratified by blood and by the oath of God!
Oh, that bleeding Sacrifice! The Covenant of God is confirmed by it and our faith is established. If you have seen Jesus diefor you, your heart has heard God swear, "Surely in blessing I will bless you!" By two immutable things, wherein it is impossiblefor God to lie, He has given us who have fled for refuge to the hope set before us in the Gospel, strong consolation! Letus fall back on this eternal Truth, that if God has provided His own Well-Beloved Son to meet the most awful of all necessities,then He will provide for us in everything else!
Where will He provide? He will provide for us in the mountain, that is to say, in the place of our trial. When we reach theplace where the fatal deed of utmost obedience is to be worked, then God will interpose. You desire Him to provide for youwhen you lift up your eyes and see the mountain afar off. He does not choose to do so, but in the mountain it shall be seen!In the place of the trial, in the heat of the furnace-in the last extremity Jehovah will be seen, for He will see to it andit shall become a proverb with you-"In the mountain, Jehovah shall be seen." That is to say, when you cannot see,
the Lord will see you and see to your need, for His eyes are upon the righteous and His ears are open to their cry! You willnot need to explain to God your difficulties and the intricacies of your position-He will see it all! Joyfully sing that revivalditty-
"This my Father knows."
As soon as the Lord has seen our need, then His provision shall be seen. You need not climb to Heaven or descend into thedeep to find it-the Lord's provision is near at hand-the ram in the thicket is behind you though you see it not as yet. Whenyou have heard God speak to you, you shall turn and see it and wonder you never saw it before! You will heartily bless Godfor the abundant provision which He reveals in the moment of trial. Then shall the Lord, Himself, be seen! You will soon dieand, perhaps in dying, you will be troubled by the fear of death. But let that evil be removed by this knowledge-that theLord will yet be seen-and when He shall appear, you shall be manifested in His Glory! In the day of the revelation of theLord Jesus, your body shall be raised from the dead and then shall the Divine provision yet more fully be discovered. "Inthe mount it shall be seen," and there shall God, Himself, be manifested to you, for your eyes shall behold Him and not another.
There is a rendering given to my text which we cannot quite pass over. Some read it that, "in the mount the people shall beseen"-in that mountain, in years to come, the multitude would gather to worship God. God's Presence was in the Temple whichwas built upon that spot! There the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord to worship the Most High! I dwell in a house notmade with hands, but piled by God of solid slabs of mercy. He is building for me a palace of crystal, pure and shining, transparentas the day. I see the house in which I am to abide forever gradually growing around me. Its foundation was laid of old ineternal love-"in the mount it shall be seen." The Lord provided for me a Covenant Head, a Redeemer and a Friend-and in HimI abide.
Since then, course upon course of the precious stones of loving kindness has been laid and the jeweled walls are all aroundme. Has it not been so with you? By-and-by we shall be roofed in with Glory everlasting and then, as we shall look to thefoundations, and the walls and to the arch above our head, we shall shout, "Jehovah-jireh-God has provided all this for me!"How we shall rejoice in every stone of the Divine building! How will our memory think over the method of the building! Onsuch a day was that stone laid, I remember it right well-"I was sorely sick and the Lord comforted me." On such a day wasthat other stone laid-I was in prison, spiritually-and the heavenly Visitor came to me! On such another day was that bejeweledcourse completed, for my heart was glad in the Lord and my glory rejoiced in the God of my salvation.
The walls of love are still rising and when the building is finished and the top stone is brought out with shouts of "Grace,Grace, unto it!" we shall then sing this song unto the Lord-JEHOVAH-JIREH! The Lord has provided it! From the beginning tothe end there is nothing of man and nothing of merit, nothing of self, but all of God in Christ Jesus who has loved us withan everlasting love and, therefore, has abounded towards us in blessing according to the fullness of His infinite heart! ToHim be praise world without end! Amen and Amen!